Consortium Wins Tender for France's First Floating Offshore Wind Farm

Source: Elicio
Source: Elicio

A consortium including Germany's BayWa r.e. and Belgium firm Elicio won a tender to develop and operate France's first floating offshore wind farm, the 250-megawatt (MW) Bretagne Sud farm, French industry minister Roland Lescure said on Wednesday.

The results were announced at a ceremony to mark the start of production at a 500-MW wind farm in Fecamp in northwestern France, the country's second offshore wind project.

A third wind farm, also located off the coast of Brittany at Saint Brieuc, is expected to be fully commissioned in June.

The project will benefit from a state-guaranteed buy-back rate for 20 years set at 86.45 euros ($94.00) per megawatt-hour (MWh), which the economy ministry said showed the competitiveness of the floating wind sector.

France lags behind other countries in offshore wind due to complex permitting procedures and multiple appeals lodged against projects in development.

Five out of eight wind farms tendered by the French government have been awarded to consortiums formed by state-owned power giant EDF.

The Bretagne Sud wind farm - France's first wind farm to use floating turbines - will be roughly half the size of Fecamp and Saint-Nazaire, the other two operational wind farms.

The companies said the wind farm, the second floating wind project in Europe won by Elicio and BayWa after the 960-MW Buchan project off the coast of Scotland, would supply power to more than 450,000 people each year.

In an attempt to accelerate development, France launched a tender for four offshore wind projects totalling 2.5 gigawatts (GW) earlier this month and announced plans for another 10 GW later this year.

(Reuters - Reporting by Benjamin Mallet and Forrest Crellin; Editing by GV De Clercq and Jonathan Oatis)

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